Tally of Miami-Dade tax appeal flood 3 weeks off
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
The number of Miami-Dade property tax appeals after the real estate boom meltdown won't be tallied for about three more weeks as the valuation board continues to dig through piles that so far total almost 38,000, the board says.
But if the workload that tax appeal firms cite this year hints at the total, it could surpass the 102,000 filed in 2008. Thousands of those are still awaiting county action.
The Value Adjustment Board's 17 staffers must enter in their system every case filed by mail or in person and, as in previous years, most flooded in close to the Sept. 18 deadline.
For the first time property owners could file online, but only 11,000 did so, the board reported Tuesday.
Mitchell Feldman, president of FBS Property Tax Abatement, says in 20 years in his profession he's "never seen so much interest from all taxpayers across the board."
Expecting a mountain of cases, Mr. Feldman formed a partnership with Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod's Real Estate Group this year, yielding more than $4 billion in assets to represent.
Tom Dixon, president of Dixon Commercial Real Estate, took on about 2,000 cases, mostly commercial, up 10% from the 1,800 he handled last year.
The number of commercial cases filed is significant, the groups say.
Mr. Feldman says commercial property owners, for whom property taxes are a major expense, are feeling pressure from tenants concerned about higher rents.
With fewer commercial transactions this year, Mr. Dixon explained, the Property Appraiser's Office had a shortage of information on sales, rental rates and operating expenses used to support reductions in assessment for commercial properties.
Thus, he said, "the assessments did not go down as much as people felt their values went down."